Israel cannot survive without a conflict

Israel is a country that must be continuously involved in war and conflict in order to sustain its standing in the Middle East. Peace and open trades/borders with its Arab neighbors will dilute Israel’s Jewish identity and cause it, in the long run, to dissolve in Middle East’s vast sea of religious and ethnic minorities. In addition, the continuous threats of Arab and Muslim invasion and “wiping Israel off the map” are helping the Israeli government to keep internal divisions under control.

The conflict with the Palestinians and Syria is critical to Israel’s survival for the foreseeable future.

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Israeli counter-arguments to above objection


If peace is so culturally or politically threatening to Israel, why did Israel make peace with Egypt and Jordan? Israel is the side on these peace agreements who’d like to drive for further normalization, Israel is not showing any signs of being afraid from more intensive relationships with Egypt or Jordan, together a significant part of the Arab world. Israel also seeks any opportunity for establishing ties with other Arab counties, such as counties in the Gulf and Morocco. If making peace with these countries made Israel stronger, why should Israel be afraid of repeating this pattern with Syria and the Palestinians? And if Israeli governments truly need the “fear factor” in order to rule, isn’t the one generated by Iran enough?

The truth is that Israel is already a melding of East and West, a majority of the Jews in Israel have originated in Arab states and their culture, now more than ever, is integrated into the Israeli melting-pot. The Palestinian population within Israel is also leaving a significant positive mark on the new Israeli identity. This demonstrates that Israel has the tools and the desire to be better integrated in its environment. It just needs a fair chance to be able to do so.

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Assuming this is true, why do Syrians need to concern themselves with this? If peace with Syria weakens Israel, this should be an Israeli objection, not a Syrian one. If Israelis are willing to accept this danger or are blind to it, why should this be a hurdle from the Syrian perspective?

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A consistent majority of Israelis recognize that a continuation of the conflict will cause more damage than solving it, because the demographic trends between Jews and Palestinians between the Jordan river and the sea will dictate a reality not congruent with Israel’s wish to remain a predominantly Jewish and also a democratic state. Continuing the conflict means Israel is getting closer (perhaps irreversibly so) to a bi-national state and that, in the eyes of a large majority of Israelis, is seen as a more frightening scenario than a two-state solution.

Therefore, even if Israelis are cautious today about resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, many, if not most of them, understand that reaching comprehensive peace in the near future is a prerequisite to Israel's survival. So rather than being a threat to Israel's existence, a comprehensive peace will enable Israel's long-term existence.

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2 Responses to “Israel cannot survive without a conflict”

  1. 4
    Brad Allen, Researcher, History of the Mid-East wrote:

    Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan as a strategic necessity. Israel is well aware that continued conflict on all its fronts would degrade its stability and would reduce immigration in the future which is key to its survival. Peace with Egypt and Jordan is shaky at best and political changes are a constant threat to return to the old state of open conflicts. Limited conflict with weaker opponents is far more attractive and sustainable.

    Israel would disintegrate from the inside if and whenever peace is finally realized. Many Israelis are from western and european countries and find it difficult to integrate with the local culture of the middle east as shown by many conflicts inside the state. Peace would bring massive inter mixing with local cultures that would soon drive the westerners and europeans out. The result would evolve the country back to what it was as Palestine.

    Israel sees a good example in the United States where the country’s stability is almost dependent on constant military readiness and conflict. The US is the most powerful military country in the world and the most powerful economic base. Countries around the world fear it and yet respect its economy and support its belligerence to feed off its spoils. In this, Israel sees survival through a powerful military which can only be sustained through constant conflict. Peace would eliminate the need for a powerful military leaving the state open to possible destruction.

    Israel has always survived by playing on the sympathy of the world. The David and Goliath scenario is played constantly as with Iran which is portrayed as a powerful and dangerous enemy set on its destruction. Combining Iran with Syria and the faltering Palestinian resistance allows Israel to continue to capitalize on the David image. No military analyst in the world legitimizes Iran’s military capability as opposed to that of Israel.

    Israel is ruled by hard line Zionists who have long come to believe that a jewish homeland is a two edged sword that by its realization will lead to the destruction of the jewish people. Peace would bring normalization and the natural evolution of migration to and from the state and the Zionist dream would falter away as reality takes hold.

    Therefore, as in the US, having a constant, but manageable enemy suits the state’s long term survival objectives. The Syrian Golan heights allows Israel to remain in a state of military readiness realizing that this enemy is a necessary illusion and part of its survival startegy. Few analysts believe that Syria would continue its belligerent stance against Israel if and when the Golan is returned as part of a peace deal. Syria’s focus would turn towards its economy and long delayed economic development, leaving Israel in search of another enemy where to focus its military energy to survive.

  2. 4
    Noam Bec wrote:

    As to the argument that “Peace and open trades/borders with its Arab neighbors will dilute Israel’s Jewish identity”:

    Jews leaved in small communities amongst 72 nations around the globe for 2,000 years and were not diluted – so why would they be leaving in an independent Jewish nation state?

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